The Alberta Solar Showcase was a perfect fit for the new Okotoks Municipal Centre. The solar PV system fits neatly into the corrugated metal siding of the retrofitted downtown building, which is expected to use 50 per cent less energy than a conventional structure.
“Working with the Alberta Solar team proved to be timely and beneficial for Okotoks,” says Municipal Manager Rick Quail of the solar installation, which will eventually be expanded across the building’s entire south wall. The solar installation is part of a major retrofit of a 30-year-old, two-storey strip mall that will house town offices. It also signals the town’s commitment to revitalizing the core of a rapidly-expanding community.
The town worked with a LEED-certified architect to develop a design that shadows the LEED Silver standard. Principles of energy efficiency, water conservation and light spilling (bringing natural light into interior spaces) guided the design, which incorporates high levels of roof and wall insulation, on-demand and solar hot water, low-E argon windows, light shelves, motion sensors, indirect lighting and lots of interior windows.
The mall was stripped down to the original metal roof deck, concrete floor and pillars. The building’s original footprint accommodated the town’s space requirements, with the exception of an impressive and innovative new council chambers. Attention was also paid to allocating space so as to minimize internal traffic. The finance department, for example, is located adjacent to an original bank vault, which survived the demolition.
“As a leader in sustainable development, the Town of Okotoks is making broad and comprehensive choices that recognize a strong reciprocal relationship between the environment and community development,” said Bill McAlpine, Mayor of Okotoks. “The solar array on our new Municipal Centre is just the latest alternative energy project in our community, with plans on other future endeavours. We are grateful to C3l for the Alberta Solar Showcase and for their expertise throughout this project.”
Solar Team: Sedmek (Calgary), Conergy